We've had a lot of interest lately on Duke City Fix from readers who want to know -- Where should I live in Albuquerque?


Having spent 4 months with 3 real-estate agents in Albuquerque (and in the end going FSBO), I know what my answer would be, but what's yours?


Me first. Here's where I think is cool to live in town if you're a child-free urbanite like me.


What I look for:

  • Old homes in an established 'hood (no new construction)
  • Fixer-upper friendly
  • Pedestrian-friendly
  • "Stuff to do within walking distance"
  • Slightly wacky and/or interesting
  • Cheap, but close to more expensive 'hoods
  • 1500-1800 sq ft
  • Reasonably normal crime rates (based on actual data rather than perception)

Here are my favorite parts of town (And I'm not sayin' they're all cheap):

  • Any of the 'hoods off of Ridgecrest Ave
  • Nob Hill
  • Supper Rock neighborhood in the foothills (but so far from city-life!)
  • South Valley near Isleta Ave
  • North Valley
  • Downtown (near Mountain and 12th, or downtown lofts, or near EDO)
  • Barelas

NOW. These are just my picks so take them with a grain of salt. I'm one of those people who actually LIKES the chaos and craziness of big cities. Suburbs, ick. But that's just me.


What's your take? Where do you recommend for new-to-Albuquerque readers and WHY?


NOTE: The map is based on one drawn for me by a 20-something Albuquerque native who was trying to tell me "cool, funky places to live" on a flight one time from Chicago to Albuquerque.

Views: 1471

Comment by chantal on November 2, 2007 at 2:45pm
This story was copied over from an original on a different server. Here are the original comments too:

sophie wrote:
Does the area around UNM's North Campus constitute its own 'hood? How about the section along Carlisle between Lomas and Constitution? Or the areas to either side of Washington between Indian School and Central?
02/05/06 21:26:05
nora wrote:
Everywhere between Altura Park and Montezuma is really nice. Good for children (at least, I survived there rather nicely).
02/05/06 22:18:17
Mr. Viddy wrote:
I keep hearing that the Southeast quadrant is known as the war zone but what constitutes this area? I'll be moving down there in March with three kids and definitely want to avoid such a place.
02/05/06 22:33:20
kp wrote:
I'm just thrilled with my neighborhood. North of Central, south of Lomas between Washington and San Mateo. Close enough to everything, but far enough that it's a small hike to get to Nob Hill. Perfect!
02/05/06 23:22:48
kris wrote:
I heard some great things about the West Mesa!
02/06/06 00:07:25
Jim M wrote:
KP,

I'm in the same neighborhood. Moved here in October. Got my place at a great price and have been fixing it up since I moved it.

I agree, everything is close enough. It's not too far to Nob Hill and a quick jaunt in the car to most of Albuquerque.
02/06/06 01:36:18
Fred wrote:
Foothills. Everything else is ghetto.
02/06/06 02:25:30
sleeplessgrl wrote:
I've lived on the West Side off of Paseo, pretty views during commute, but felt like we spent too much time in the car getting to work and school. Moved to the North Valley in some new construction. I loved North Valley living but hated the house. Now we live blocks from campus and Nob Hill and yes it's noisier and the folks are a little more colorful, but considering that I found a crack pipe in my garden in North Valley, I figure the trade off is hardwood floors, beautiful old adobe, and walking access to everything. We rarely pull the car out anymore.
02/06/06 03:09:33
City Boy wrote:
I lived on a big spread in Los Lunas, and grew tired of spending hours of my limited lifetime in traffic commuting each day. Moved to the area around Our Lady of Fatima (Lomas and Morningside) 16 years ago, and will never leave so long as we are in Burque. People around here invest heavily in their old houses. Neighbors look out for each other and crime is about zip. Our house is built like a fortress, unlike the cheap throw-em-up-in-a-hurry pieces of crap they're building on the West Mesa (where crime is soaring). And we hardly drive much. Cars last forever, because everything we need (food, clothing, theaters, hardware, booze, work, etc.) is within a couple miles of our home.

I feel sorry for anyone who lives on the West Mesa. But choosing to sit in your car for half your life is your business. And when you factor in the costs of lost time drving everywhere to get anything and huge auto expenses, it's not the economic bargain developers paint, even if you are willing to live in shoddy construction for a few bucks less up front.
02/06/06 05:55:33
chantal wrote:
Mr. Viddy,

The "War Zone" is theoretically clustered around Central between Louisiana (?) and say Juan Tabo (?). People say it's not really the War Zone anymore but I don't know anyone who lives east of Louisiana.

If you like old homes in the city and are ultra concerned about schools, try finding a home in the school district for Bandelier Elementary. There are a lot of professional folks with kids living in this part of the SE Heights.

If you're a new construction kinda guy, maybe try the Four Hills area or the North side of Albuquerque?

A lot of folks with kids get lured to Rio Rancho or the West side which is fine, but you'd be well-advised to do a couple of excursions doing "rush hour" to see if you can live with the traffic for those areas.

In any case, do some research on crime rates, traffic, demographics, etc... There is a lot of real data out there on the net like this interesting map:

Traffic flow map for Albuquerque 2004 (PDF):

http://www.mrcog-nm.gov/ima...
02/06/06 07:16:32
Bill wrote:
Where does one do the "research on crime rates, traffic, demographics, etc... " A friendly lead to some websites would be appreciated! No matter how you slice it, the city does have variety when on first blush it might seem to a newbie to all "be the same!
02/06/06 07:48:31
New to the city wrote:
I live in the same area as KP, Jim M and City Boy (moved here less than a year ago). My family and I just love it. I consider it to be sort of an extension of the Parkland Hills area: you get the accessibility of the Nob Hill (and all of the interesting architecture) without paying a premium. From talking with people in the area, prices have gone up a lot in the past few years, but it is still relatively affordable. And you get basically no crime, wonderful neighbors, and lots of character.
02/06/06 08:59:25
Beckster wrote:
We bought a new house in Ventana Ranch because we're the only couple in the history of Albuquerque where this is an equidistant compromise (he's downtown, I was Rio Rancho, now I'm Journal Center).

I hate Ventana Ranch. Love the house, hate the neighborhood. Everyone drives a minivan or SUV with the requisite W sticker. Women who work, especially childless women, are treated as pariahs. The isolation works against the families as bored teenagers turn to vandalism. The wind's insane. The neighborhood association provides nothing but headaches. And every other house in our subdivision is a rental property.

I refuse to raise my child here. We're putting the house on the market in a week and moving deeper into the city. I'd rather spend forty-five minutes in traffic than live here another year.

Ventana Ranch is evil. Seriously. Sorry we contributed to the problem. We wanted a home we could afford. Too bad we paid for it with our souls.
02/06/06 09:16:56
Mike wrote:
One of the Far Northeast Heights best kept secrets- The New Holiday Park area (east of Juan Tabo/ North of Montgomery).

You can walk to Flying Star, Il Vicino's, Page One, Pet Vet and many more excellent stores and restaurants. Convenient to the foothills biking/hiking and also other open space areas.

Top notch public schools- SY Jackson, Eisenhower and Eldorado.

The homes were built in around 1971 so there is plenty of fix up potential, but values are rising enough to support the work you want to do.
02/06/06 09:20:59
Dana wrote:
All of us who belong to the Sandia Heights Vato Locos reccommend our ghetto for quality of life, schools and we have many fixer uppers.
02/06/06 09:58:00
Mr. Viddy wrote:
Wow, I am most definitely a renter. I don't have a desire right now to own a home and some of you are making some pretty disparaging remarks towards renters. Is Albuquerque a home-owners kind a town? Will I be ostracized for choosing to be a renter?

On a positive note, thank all of you for the excellent information on good neighborhoods.
02/06/06 10:08:19
Hazel wrote:
The old Albuquerque Country Club neighborhood should not be forgotten. Old homes with various styles of architecture and floor plans (read: these are NOT tract homes!!). Close to downtown, UNM, and North Valley. Tingley Beach is practically our backyard.
02/06/06 10:11:03
Whiz wrote:
The nouveau riche houses in the foothills up against the Sandias not only are a blight on the very scenic landscape of the area, many of them are risking the lives of their families by building in hazardous areas. One particularly ugly example I recently viewed was built directly in the mouth of a steep arroyo. I guess the city can't afford to hire competent geologic engineers in their permitting section.

It's hard to believe that 1) the city allowed these monstrocities to be constructed in the first place and, 2) any bank would have financed the construction of them. Tramway should have been the eastern border of Albuquerque, period.
02/06/06 10:23:04
GypsyRose wrote:
Mr. Veddy: There are many excellent rental homes in Albuquerque. The best are owned by long-time residents. Unfortunately, many news ones, especially on the West Side, are owned by absentee landlords, many from Calif and other high cost markets. They buy up homes here a half-dozen at a time as "investments" and put them out to rent without much regard for who they rent to or keeping up the properties.

I have friends who rent a very nice house in the NE Heights in an old development called Hoffmantown, build in the 1950s. Very well built brick homes with real plaster walls, big lots, tons of mature trees. The rent is about $900 a month for a 3BR, 1.5 bath home with a large add-on den with fireplace, nice yard, etc. Hoffmantown is around Wyoming and Menaul.

Homes sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 generally.
02/06/06 10:37:21
kelly wrote:
Mr. Viddy: When we moved here, we rented a lovely townhouse in the NE Heights (Spain/Morris) - around Mike's Holiday Park area. There has been a building boom in that area lately, lots of townhouse development. We moved into the Nob Hill/UNM area when we bought a house, primarily because everything we found we did was in that general area and it was close to the airport (frequent business travel for the spouse).

One can definitely find quality rental housing here in just about all price ranges. I recommend doing that for a year or so just to scope out the city and decide for yourself whether you're a Downtown, UNM, NE Heights, North Valley, Rio Rancho, West Mesa guy. Then you can also consider whether the rent you are paying might be better spent building equity.
02/06/06 11:15:46
Howard Taylor wrote:
Gypsy Rose and Kelly thanks for the info.I am moving to Albuquerque in March and looking for a house or townhouse to rent.Keep the comments going.
02/06/06 12:27:11
Jessie wrote:
While I haven't looked into the hard data to address the actual crime rate issue, my 'hood on the north end of South Broadway gets an "A" for each of the other criteria Chantal listed--more than that, it's a "best kept secret" since most people still don't realize that it's rapidly leaving behind its old ghetto identity. Houses, particularly fixer-uppers, are still a steal here; likewise for rent (another renter here). Forget EDo--in many ways, it's already gotten too expensive. Everything else is great--I walk/bike to restaurants, bars, movie theater, grocery shopping, library... you name it. The neighbors are an eclectic but generally very friendly mix, and I feel absolutely comfortable here. Ghetto, schmetto.
02/06/06 14:27:45
Daniel wrote:
Don't forget the charming tied up pit bulls, chain link fences, and dirt yards in scenic South Broadway. I sure hope none of the families moving here next month are taking South Broadway seriously as a place to live. If you can afford it(and I cannot!), my favorite neighborhood is the Country Club area south of Old town. Extremely diverse styles of houses, huge trees, close to everything that matters, and a wonderful sense of neighborhood. Some day huh?
02/06/06 14:59:49
Chad Lundgren wrote:
Speaking of hard data, the City web site used to have crime maps for the whole city (now they have crime tables instead). I found this on the Internet archive:

http://web.archive.org/web/...

Of course, crimes per square mile measure may not be as fair as a crimes per capita. Also, it's a bit old at this point.

I originally looked up the crime maps when I heard some acquaintances claiming there was more burglary in the Northeast Heights than elsewhere. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now.

Here's another web archive gem from 2001 addressing the burglary myth:

http://web.archive.org/web/...
02/06/06 16:17:10
maximus attentivus wrote:
One word: "fringecrest."

But that was another story
02/06/06 17:17:11
Paul wrote:
As a matter of fact don't "forget EDO"-- I happen to know that there are still many good deals to be had all over the downtown area including EDO (East Downtown Area).
02/06/06 17:48:44
grumblecake wrote:
Daniel - I imagine that people who are smart enough to move to ABQ are also smart enough to drive around and see what suits them before buying in any neighborhood. Give them some credit. The South Valley has definite benefits, whether or not you choose to see them.

Mr. Viddy - Crappy renters and absentee landlords of yore have tarnished the view of future renters. Have faith though - we've been renters (well-treated by neighbors), we've rented our house out (to responsible renters), and we'll likely rent again someday in the future. You're not alone!
02/06/06 18:33:28
Daniel wrote:
g cake: I wasn't referring to South Valley which is great for someone who likes rural. I was talking about South Broadway. Sure, they're smart enough to drive around. But they've also been asking for feedback here and I gave mine. That cool? DCF is a fun site but the party line thing gets old, guys.
02/06/06 19:05:48
chantal wrote:
Fringecrest:

http://www.dukecityfix.com/...

It's a neighborhood that makes me happy anyway ;-)
02/06/06 19:46:41
Georgia wrote:
Thanks to Chantal and all who posted comments on neighborhoods. You have provided good information for those of us who plan to move to ABQ.
02/06/06 21:13:13
jmontalbano wrote:
I live on Silver near Maple, just east of Presbyterian Hospital. I'm a 15-minute walk from Nob Hill, Downtown and the Pit, and a 5-min. walk from EDo, UNM, TVI and a Smith's. Dogwalkers like the new median (shorter trees but a view of the mountains and a lovely seven-block luminaria display on xmas eve) on their way to and from Roosevelt Park. Characters get more eccentric (and addicted) on either side of the Hill (on Gold or Lead), but I know many of my neighbors and merchants. Maybe the best variety of food options within walking distance in the city.
02/06/06 21:59:44
A3OT wrote:
I've found that local.live.com (windows live site) with the birdseye view quite helpful when exploring places in Albuquerque.
02/07/06 00:13:18
Rocky wrote:
Mr. Viddy - It’s not just stereotyping of crappy tenants that make us renters suspect. Transiency in and of itself is difficult for a lot of people, whether it’s your neighbor or your time spent here on terra firma (for this lifetime, anyway). As renters we also raise serious concerns regarding transfer of wealth, as in why are we enabling absentee landlords or supporting capitalist apartment owners? Why are we paying so much money for rent when we could be buying a house? That said (I’m sorry, I just can’t get enough of that party line) you have the potential of finding great neighbors on South Broadway and even (eeeyyyuuu) Ventana Ranch, just like you have the potential to find pit bulls, dirt yards, and junk cars in the Old Town area or even (aaawww) Fringecrest.

http://www.dukecityfix.com/...
02/07/06 10:02:38
Jessie wrote:
Precisely. Crappy neighbors & junk houses abound in just about every neighborhood in 'Burque--that heterogeneity is one thing I like about this town. Likewise, you can find great blocks even in 'hoods like So Broadway--and that ain't no party line; that's me speaking from experience.
02/07/06 11:04:03
Daniel wrote:
The party line aspect is that I was chided for saying something negative (but frankly true) about South Broadway while nobody gets chided for putting down the west side, for example. Personally I don't like either area and would never apologize for recommending to an out of towner to stay away from them both, for very different reasons. Peace.
02/07/06 17:48:31
chantal wrote:
A tangential FYI: There's a new comment on "The Fringecrest Revival" story that might interest some folks in the 'hood who want to get more involved:

http://www.dukecityfix.com/...
02/07/06 20:10:04
Don wrote:
if you can afford to live near UNM or NOB hill and pay 150 to 200 psf for a house and then have to put 50k to get it fixed up great. I would love to live in that area, but instead moved to the NE Heights area the housing is about 100 to 150 psf. And have found a lot of people from the nob hill and UNM area moveing out here to get a bigger home that cost less. So the NE heights is a mix of Conserative and Liberal people that get along alright. I still drive to the UNM and Nob Hill area looking for my next house on sundays.
02/08/06 10:10:11
thrifty nobby wrote:
I'm in roughly the UNM/Nob Hill area. And I paid less than $100/sq ft and looked at a bunch of places that were also less than $100/sq ft. Yes, the house needs some fix-up, but not everything in that general area is out of control.
02/08/06 16:08:08
New to the city wrote:
I realize this is a bit late - but a new website started today:

http://www.zillow.com

Type an address, get a price estimate for the house. Seems pretty accurate (though it is making me a bit too excited about how much equity I've built up in less than a year).
02/08/06 18:39:10
chantal wrote:
Yep, for my house in "Fringecrest" near Nob Hill and Ridgecrest, I paid $72/sq ft. Granted, this was 2 years ago, but it certainly hasn't doubled since then.
02/08/06 21:01:36
Sarahj wrote:
Gotta love the Near North Valley. We live near 12th & Candelaria. Close to downtown. 10 min to airport. We raised our kids here and don't regret it. It still IS a real neighborhood, which is hard to come by these days. This area has as much diversity as does this thread. Good thing about the schools is there is still a spanish program in the elem's and ms's due to it being a "historically" hispanic neighborhood. Lots of expensive housing, and low income too. Lots of our tax dollars are being spent here with improvements to make it more user friendly for walking. Lots of old and new housing. Urban infill projects - good & bad but certainly satisfying to the people wanting to live down here so close to downtown and the nature center.

I think this area may be the easiest to commute to any other part of the ciy and beyond. We have worked both out on the base and in RR - takes about the same time to get to either. We have shopping choices, with big guys like Smith's, middle guys like John Brooks, and little guys like the Co-op, Fruit Basket and the mexican market El Mequite. I love it down here!
02/15/06 15:03:41
Josepi wrote:
Great piece! Great site!! I'm transfering to ABQ from Delaware and I start driving March, 13. I've always wanted to move west. Honestly, Colorado was my first choice, but from what I've seen, I'll take New Mexico (Is ABQ a poor mans Denver??)

I love the outdoors and that's what's drawing me. I can't wait to hike and bike the footholls and at Sandia.

I will work on Montgomery, like trails and am looking for a house under $200,000. Any suggestions? I'm thinking about 'LaQuesta' near I-40 and Tramway (I've never been there, but saw it when I did house searches on line).

So, I'm on my way to start a new life. I'm excited and a little anxious. I'm looking foward to corresponding with people on here, and eating my eggs "christmas"

Take care . . . and PLEASE respond!!
03/03/06 17:39:34
Adam wrote:
Hey guys. I'm in a similar situation as josepi. I'll be working at Kirtland though. I'm really into hiking and mountain biking, so I'm looking for somewhere where I can do both within a short distance of my front door, but somewhere that is also close to base. I want a ~$200k house. Unfortunately, that sort of rules out four hills, which looks ideal otherwise. Any suggestions? What is it like living East in the mountain pass (Tijeres/Cedar Crest, I guess)? Long commute?
03/09/06 11:09:08
artgrrl wrote:
My husband and I, both artists, are moving to Albuquerque this summer. We're interested in live/work space--but more like an artist's warehouse district where we can "fix-up" ourselves. Not the sort rennovated by a developer. Do these sorts of spaces exist? If so, in what areas? Hopefully somewhere outside of the war-zone. We're coming from Oakland and we're really, really tired of that! Thanks!
03/09/06 16:04:01
andrew wrote:
Adam, some people might argue the mountain biking is better on the west face of the Sandias, where miles of hardpacked trails skirt the national forest in public 'open space.' The national forest part on the west face has plenty of trails too, many of which ramble all the way to the top of the Sandias. If you're looking at a map, those areas are accessed at the ends of most major east/west roads, such as Lomas, Candelaria, Montgomery, etc. You could pretty much live anywhere in the far NE heights at that price, say from Tramway and Central all the way up to Tramway and Montgomery (gets more expensive after that). From those neighborhoods you could easily ride your bike or walk to open space and natl. forest access. Bikes aren't allowed in most of the national forest part. Hiking on this side is just as good, but not as shady as the east side.

re: Cedar Crest/Tijeras, also a nice place to live, but longer commutes, heavy traffic in the a.m. and when it rains in Albuquerque in the winter, it snows on the east side of the mountains, which sometimes hangs up traffic coming through Tijeras canyon into ABQ. Of course, it hasn't rained or snowed noticeably here in a very long time, so YMMV.
03/10/06 16:11:05
Emile wrote:
Artgrrl,
Real artists wouldn't live anywhere but the War Zone...are you artists, or are you Presbyterians?
03/10/06 18:43:07
Roger wrote:
Artgrrl:

At the risk of sending virtual coals to Newcastle, read the thread on the Sawmill lofts at this site:

http://www.dukecityfix.com/...

Sarahj, adam, josepi:

Congratulations on your move to ABQ. E of Tramway is nice. Since there is no traffic demand E to/W from the forest and open space (except for the occasional prairie dog) and everyone takes Tramway/Juan Tabo/Eubank to go N-S, there is much less traffic, congestion and noise in the foothills neighborhoods. Great views too...1K ft above the river/downtown/bosque/city lights and unobstructed views of the Sandias at 10K ft three or four miles east (you'll be at 6K ft E of Tramway...we call Denverites lowlanders). You should have little problem staying under $200K to boot. Ahem...ABQ is the smart man's Denver :-).
03/10/06 22:30:55
atty-Pay wrote:
I have lived in probaby too many places throughout ABQ, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Algodones...

The biggest mistake I made - relying to heavily on the "school" factor for my kids. There is a really good book called the "Two Income Trap" that talks about all the hype regarding schools & its effect on Real Estate. There are some area schools in the near NE Heights whose accredation is threatened, but otherwise I am a firm believer a better bet is to buy a cheaper house and stay home to be there when they get home from school.

The North Valley was like Corrales without the high price tag - lots of horses, great bike paths along the Bosque, a great view of Balloon Fiesta and cultural activities with a small town feel.

Rio Rancho unfortunately will never get rid of its traffic woes so unless you work there it might not be feasible.

I think the West Side will be better trafficwise once Coors is done with construction, but it IS the epitome of Suburban America.

Algodones is a little secret - most people don't really know it exists except as an exit off I-25 just north of Bernalillo, but I think this place is really going to burst - especially once the train starts (June 2006 - the train will eventually go from Belen to Bernalillo). It is a farming community that has very little traffic, lots of trees and some really, really big houses and lots. (Have you figured out that I hail from a farm town in the Midwest?)

My most recent home was in Bernalillo - otherwise known as Berna by the artsy types :) Very small town right now, but hopefully the city will stop building fast food joints and draft some strict codes to keep it the way it is. I did receive a survey a couple months back that was addressing this issue - so we will see!

Hope this helps!
03/10/06 22:32:07
James wrote:
I'm confused then. Where is the "War Zone"?
03/11/06 07:32:46
jparnold wrote:
For artist industrial lofts, I would try the area around Broadway and Central (near the train tracks, warehouse district) or generally southeast of downtown. I've known artists who lived at "500 2nd Street" (building by the tracks, an old theatre I believe) and in North Barelas. Go here for info on the downtown core & surrounding industrial areas:
http://www.bellenworks.com/...

On a hunch, you might also look at buildings along Edith Blvd north of downtown...take a drive. :-P

The "War Zone" begins southeast of San Pedro and Central, and extends directly east through Wyoming (or so). This area is not a solid block, but is rather a patchwork. There are better & worse neighborhoods scattered throughout.

Most of the downtown area is improving rapidly (re: crime) and the warehouse areas are being developed. Take a look and see how you feel.

Josh
03/11/06 18:28:04
Bryan wrote:
I am living in Cedar Crest right now, it is beautiful and my commute to Uptown area is not bad at all - definately shorter than from Rio Rancho/Westside. Cedar Crest is wonderful if you like the outdoors and already know people, but stinks if you are young, single, and don't know anyone.
03/11/06 19:38:06
Laurie wrote:
According to the comment way back when, I moved near the "war zone" from CA in 7/24, although my sister who has been here 15 yrs says I do NOT live in or near the war zone. I am south of Southern, E of Eubank and W of Juan Tabo in a new subdivision. We wanted an older home but all of them required 30-60K in remodel costs to come close to what we got for much less. We like the area, lots of kids and young families and we are close enough to the 40 for it to be convenient but not so close that we can hear it or smell it. The houses are new and somewhat souless, but making it "home" is your job regardless of what area or house you choose. Welcome to Abq! We are glad we made the move!
03/11/06 20:31:03
Sarahj wrote:
Algodones is truely a wonderful village. But finding property for sale there is kinda like trying to find hens teeth. We looked for a long time and gave up.
03/13/06 22:15:20
muc wrote:
Yeah, Bryan I agree with you--I'm in Cedar Crest too and love it but can see how it would suck for a young single person. Used to live in the South Valley (and loved it there too) but we wanted to experience some mountain living before we decided on a place to buy. Cedar Crest is beautiful. We're renting a place that practically backs up into the Cibola National Forest and are only 20 minutes from Carlisle and I-40. The traffic is not bad at all (work at 9:30 so I don't know the earlier traffic). What I do miss about actually living in Albuquerque is the sense of community we had in the South Valley. It kind of feels like folks move out here to do their own thing and be left alone. We don't ever see our neighbors (most of these homes on our dirt road are tucked away behind lots of trees on lots of land) but when we do, people are very friendly--it's just different. I get a real sense for Cedar Crest folks when I'm at Triangle Grocery--mixture of artists, lumber jack types, rednecks, and I've mets lots of folks from the Midwest and Hawaii just standing in the check-out line so it's a little diverse in that kind of way. And although the drive is not bad, it feels like you're a world away. Every weekend, we go for long day hikes exploring the Sandia's and the stars at night in New Mexico from the backside of the mountains is just stunning. The only thing I'm worried about is all the obnoxious homes being built furthur up Hwy 14 and all the gross gated communities. In the mountains! That may make traffic flow worse and give the backside of the mountains a different feel in a few years.
03/14/06 22:54:53
Josepi wrote:
An Update:

Thanks for the help folks. I just bought a house. I bought an attached house east of Copper and Tramway. I'm like .6 miles from the trailhead to the foothills trails!! Awesome!!

I sacrificed square footage for a great location. I paid 164k for the 1300 sq. feet and two bedrooms in a house built in 1993. The same amount of $$$ would buy me a palace on the west side, but I'm happy with what I got. It's just me after all. I feel lucky to have found something in a nice quiet neighborhood east of Tramway for that price. To me, it's a good find.

My intent was to get something that I can jazz up and flip in a year ot two if I decide I hate it here(judging from the offers that poured in after mine was accepted, it will). But, as each day goes by, I'm thinking more and more that I will be an Albuquerquean for years to come!
04/01/06 18:08:57
Warriors wrote:
How Bernalillo? Thinking of buying a home at the Santiago Community. You guys scared me away from Rio Rancho & NW Albuquerque.
04/24/06 15:35:17
Grant wrote:
Wow, I hope I don't stir this up too much, but here goes. I am interested in a job transfer that will have me working in the Rio Rancho area. I am trying to find out where one would look to live. Just me and my wife, kids are grown. We spent 20 years in southern Arizona, so we know a little about desert style living. We are not too fond of windy conditions, are there areas that are not too bad? I see comments about the foothills to the East. Is this the Tijeras or Cedar Crest areas? I currently live in what is consistently one of the 3 safest counties in the US. I have a feeling I'll miss that. Feel free to lend your comments. I would love to find a nice home under $300K.
06/27/06 11:05:11
WhiteRabbit wrote:
I just recently bought a house in the near North Valley. Everyone has been very friendly and helpful. Last week a couple that had also moved in had a housewarming party. I walked over, they welcomed me in and we all enjoyed the mariachi band, the food and the beer. Good times!
09/13/06 08:39:19
Permanent Transplant wrote:
Wow. There's so much great info here! I feel sorry for someone trying to sort through it all to find their 'ideal'. When we moved to the Q 8 years ago, I had never lived outside my home state of Texas, and frankly never intended to. My husband's company set us up here for a weekend to see if I could deal with the change and I was instantly mesmerized with the area. I am now a true transplant and although I miss being close to family, I have never regretted the move. My daughter was 10 when we moved, so schooling was an important factor. We were told to look to the NE Heights for what we wanted, and to stay away from the westside/Rio Rancho for all of the reasons listed above. We rented off Spain/Morris that first summer and I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven!! We bought a year later not too far away - Comanche/Morris. We wanted brick, grass, trees, community, and we got it all. My daughter graduates this year and our sense of stability and 'putting down roots' has grown exponentially with each year. I have to laugh anytime anyone mentions any type of commute issues. It takes me 10 minutes in the mornings to get to San Mateo/I-40, 15 if I'm going down to TVI Main. After living in Houston, this is cake and frosting all rolled into one!
If schools hadn't been an issue, we could easily have found ourselves in the not quite Nob Hill area and would've been just as happy. There is enough diversity of space and people city wide that no matter what your personal preferences are, you will find something that suits you.
Good luck to all who are relocating and welcome!
09/13/06 10:34:50
Sunbeat wrote:
Writing from FLA and hoping to make the move. Got 2 questions - 1. what's the inside scoop on wildlife/bugs? I was drawn to outdoor life of FLA, but when moved here realized you can't go near rivers or lakes cuz o' the gators & generally can't be outside more than 3 months of the year cuz you'll get eaten alive by bat-size mosquitos and want to rip your skin off from searing heat and humidity. 2. Are western rednecks better than southern ones? If I see one more beat up pick-up with a confederate flag sticker and toothless, shirtlss driver weaving in and out of traffic...
09/25/06 10:57:37
liz wrote:
Hi,

My family is looking for a neighborhood with the following qualiries:
arty
good schools
low gun crime (A big problem where we currently are)
gay and lesbian frendly
a srong sense of community

What would your suggestions be?
Many thanks
10/04/06 16:48:20
Ab wrote:
TAylor Ranch on the Westside ...the boundaries are, Escarpment west of Unser, Coors West of the River, Western trail on the south boundary and Paseo Del Norte to the North...all the houses and neighborhoods are top notch! some older, some newr, good schools and great folks
10/06/06 22:56:50
In ABQ since 1975 wrote:
I grew up in the Heights near Spain & Eubank. On my own I've lived by Carlisle & Montgomery, San Mateo & Lomas, Louisiana & Montgomery, Corrales and now own a home in an older area of Rio Rancho. I'd move back to Corrales in an instant if I had the money -- I loved being in a rural area, but now that is changing. Our place in Rio Rancho is great. We have 1/2 acre, a fixer-upper (that will never be done) and we know all our neighbors by name. During the big snow, two of the people on the block scraped our road with their tractors so people could drive safely on our street. I work from home and my husband takes the Rail Runner and connects to UNM. I hate travelling east past 2nd St. now as people don't seem to be polite (rarely excusing themselves if they have to get by you in a store) and seem to be in a hurry. I don't have kids, but I know all the kids on the block. No two houses on our street were built by the same builder -- I like unique and space. Our street has everything -- all ages, races, incomes, gang members (make friends with them, they aren't as scary as so many people seem to think) -- and we get along and take care of one another. No one is afraid to ask for help, loan items (and, yes, they are returned), my next door neighbors have split costs of things (like the brick walls -- price out a 220 ft wall 5 foot high -- this is no small thing!) when we put them in. Yeah, there are things we don't like about Rio Rancho -- mainly the government -- but we love our street! The only thing that will make us move is when my husband's knees get too back to walk up and down the stairs in our home (he's 42 and already had 2 ACL surgeries a knee replacement has been suggested).
01/22/07 02:36:19
miguel bonilla wrote:
Whatever anybody does, stay away from ventana ranch! The homeowners association is a hugh scam that serves to only aggrevate the honest people living here. It seems every 4th house is a rental and the quality of tenants are questionalble because the investors simply want the rent payed..not to much screening of renters. Canyon Gate real estate which runs the association should be investigated on local news for their practices.
01/26/07 10:14:24
New to ABQ wrote:
I haven't heard many people address the issue of living in an area where hiking/trails are readily accessible. My wife and I just moved to ABQ from Denver and we are struggling with the safety of the city and not being able to walk alone evenings. So far we haven't come across any neighborhoods where people with whom we have spoken, for example, would feel comfortable letting their kids camp out in the backyard for a night. Our lives are centered around the university. Are we missing something with regard to safer areas?
01/31/07 09:03:42
Mamamia wrote:
Hey New to ALB,
We have only been here since Thanksgiving, moved from rural TN. We are renting in Ventanna ranch, and everyone walks in the evenings. Depending on your price range, you really can get a lot for your money here. For us, it is really safe for kids, we have lots of retirees and families as neighbors. I was really worried from reading the posts that I couldnt afford a big enough house for my family in ALBQ. Our rent is way lower than our house payment would be in this same neighborhood, We are still trying to sell our Nashville area home, so we are in no hurry to buy. We were relocated with Tempur which is out on Paseo Del volcan, so for us, 15 min. to work and 15- 25 min. anywhere in town works out great. I also have had my eye on Cabezon but that would be more Rio rancho and give us longer drives to museums, work etc. It has been hard to get used to close houses and traffic, but over all we are considering buying in this area. Walking paths, parks, and friendly people are what we have experienced in the few months we have been here, and we were afraid of losing the hospitality we loved in TN, we are happy with Alb. I like anywhere from Taylor ranch to Rio rancho, I like to be central to both, because our kids Ice skate, and we also frequent the Museums, caisnos etc.

A great place to look is rentclicks.com
03/12/07 13:44:39
tixydo wrote:
Hi,

I'm moving to Albuquerque this summer. I don't have kids, so I'm not worried about the school district, but I will be working at UNM, so I don't want to be too far away. Can anyone suggest a good place to rent? I've heard that Albuquerque isn't particularly safe, so I'm hoping for somewhere near the University that isn't dangerous.

Thanks!
06/04/07 19:29:53
MidwestGurl wrote:
I am a quiet girl from a little town in the midwest and I live on the west-side, north of paeso and west of coors a bit. It's beautiful and quiet out there, and my apt is gated, though I'll be moving to a house in the same area soon. I feel safe going to the grocery store, and there's lots of places to shop. I actually work near the university, and it usually only takes me about 1/2 hr to get to work in the morning. Also, the train is convenient, if you're into the urban commuting thing. I would highly recommend this area. When I moved here I lived in some apartments in the NE heights, and they were pretty ghetto. This area where I live now is nice, new, and mostly families with children. Don't let the naysayers scare you. If I feel safe in NM (and LOVE it!), you can too. I'm getting married soon, and am looking forward to raising a family on the west side.
07/06/07 08:25:15
Transplanted Texan wrote:
I'm moving to Abq from Dallas but have never even been to NM, so I'm not familiar with all of the neighborhoods referenced in the comments above. I'm a young professional, no kids, love the city life (you get the idea) and want to live in a fun but safe area. I found a place online- Alvarado apartment complex at 611 Lead Ave SW near 6th St SW. Does anyone have any comments (good or bad) on the building or general area? Thanks!
07/26/07 14:47:50
legal eagle wrote:
I am moving from Houston to ABQ. I found an apartment in Rio Rancho online-Broadstone Resort. I am wanting to buy a house within a year of moving to ABQ. I will be working downtown and want a nice neighborhood close to night life, restaurants, shops, etc. However, I don't want to spend $300,000 on my first home. Any advice??? No crack heads but artsy is good
08/03/07 09:31:10
Prescott wrote:
i work on more and more movies in Albq and get tired of motels and ext stay places. I moved to the mountains near Cloudcroft a couple of years ago to chill from city life. When i'm in a city, i want to be downtown and i take a lot of cont ed classes at university. What do you guys suggest on a budget?
09/03/07 08:33:59
Comment by terraambient on November 18, 2007 at 8:03pm
well, Im in the process of closing on a house over on the west side. Although we love the Northeast, if your getting your first home, you can get a LOT of house options for more reasonable prices over there, no doubt. About 50-100K less than what you'll pay on the other side of the river. Even if it's a starter home, it's something to consider.
Comment by chantal on November 18, 2007 at 8:05pm
Congratulations on your new home! I hope the closing is smooth.
Comment by Justin on December 4, 2007 at 11:37am
Wonderful post and discussion. I'd like to ask a slightly different question: "Where should I build in Albuquerque?"

My wife and are developing a program for our single-family residence. Our functional requirements and concept are well on their way to being finalized, which is great. We also have a short list of Architects started. What we're struggling with is the question of where to build. We live on the East Coast (in Durham, NC) at the moment -- which makes this question even more difficult to answer. Maybe Duke City Fix readers can help?

What do people here think about residential infill development in the Barelas area - specifically near/around the Rail Yards? I've read that zoning is currently a challenge (the 2006 barelas sector development plan located at: http://www.sites-sw.com/08webs/Barelas/New%20Draft%20Plan.pdf outlines these), but I was told there are plans currently being heard by the City Council to address these and other concerns which should be finalized over the next few months. Zoning aside, what is the general feeling about this area? Is it improving, declining--or in a sort of steady state of going nowhere?

I'd love to hear from people familiar with the area. I'm hoping there are several active members of the community who may see this and respond. I'm going to be in Albuquerque next week (December 9-15) and will be spending a considerable amount of time looking around.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any help!
Justin
Comment by chantal on December 4, 2007 at 9:55pm
Hey Justin, if you don't get any responses, try posting your question on the forum.

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